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Sunday, 2 March 2014

A ship of fools on an angry sea of their own making

From Wikipeebia; http://wikipeebia.com/wiki/the-exclusive-brethren-currently/

(Or- An unexpurgated recent history of the Exclusive Plymouth Christian Brethren whatevers.)

I have long held the view that if you want to find Jesus – you need to head down to your local sanatorium – or as they put it these days in this era of political correctness –home for the reality challenged. Here you will find any number of long haired kaftan and sandal clad men, who, depending on their given Prozac levels on a particular day will waft in front of you with an affected serenity talking like we suppose the great man would speak with great calm and sweeping motions from the hands suggestive of either an impending word of wisdom or care for an imaginary flock. Their minders ask them at each session who they are –and they reply “I am Jesus” with a look on their face intended to chastise their keepers for not having the good grace to recognise them on face value alone.

 I can also tell you where you won’t find Jesus, and that my friends, is amongst the Exclusive Brethren or the Plymouth Christian Brethren whatevers they call themselves these days to deflect attention from the bad name their previous name –the Exclusive Brethren– er- had.

 Indeed, this so-called Christian group is as devoid of Jesus and his principles as it is possible to be. They in fact rarely even refer to him – preferring to genuflect to the blokes who have risen among them to a position of moneymaking, power-engendering greatness. Worse- they have deified these chaps likening them to modern day Saint Paul’s –even referring to the great ‘Pauline’ line, which starts with Saint Paul and ends with whomever is raking in the Brethren dosh these days. Well – to be accurate St Bruce. And before him St. John.  St. Bruce’s dad. Some bright spark went through the words of a typical BDH led reading meeting recently and came up with I think 6 mentions of an actual ‘God’ and 98 of “Our Beloved’ or ‘These Great Men’. So we can agree that the actual deity is all but a thing of the past with the Exclusive Brethren. Their Gods (small g) all sit among them as the personification of Christ on earth in ‘the only true church on earth’.    

 But they have gotten a bit smart for their own good and now spend much of their day reeling from one lawyer’s chambers to their PR guru’s office. Desperate to maintain something they call the ‘position.’ Now I have tried a few positions –but trust me when I say –there is no more difficult position than that which the Exclusive Brethren are trying to – er – maintain. And this is where their Jesus and God come into it. When they want something new or Saint Bruce makes a decree – they say –“The Lord has turned a corner.” This put simply means that Bruce has done an about-face on something because he wants something.

 Now Saint Bruce –unlike his heavenly counterpart – hates the world. He said so. And everything in it. Trouble is –in hating the world and to give his mistrust of all things worldly real meaning – he got all of his followers to erect massive security fences and electric gates around every ‘church’ they own. Some even had security guards to protect them from people who might be trying to get in. (Sadly not one has been found.)

 In another fairly recent corner turning exercise, he ripped all of their kiddies out of government schools to a plan feverishly worked over by his father (the earthly one) and plonked them in Brethren schools, which had hurriedly been converted or built over five continents. Of course their was a minor hiccough during this process when they realised that due to a ban on tertiary education within the Brethren by his predecessors forty years ago they don’t actually have any properly qualified Brethren teachers to teach their kiddies the new Brethren sanitised curriculum.  So they drew up stringent employment contracts and employed worldly ones and watched them like hawks. And here is an example of your about-face. Your Lord turning a corner. Sometimes without indicating.

A few months in Saint Bruce realised that this self- education thing is bloody expensive. So he went after the world’s money and sought to set everything up under charitable trusts so the Brethren could also tip their profits and cash into the future of these new quasi-learning establishments. And because it all looked legit, Governments realised that they could not refuse them on religious grounds and granted them tens of millions. So the ‘hated’ are now looking after the ‘haters’. Which is very nice of us.

 Then Saint Bruce realised that he had to involve himself by infiltrating every Brethren member’s business. If they were not performing up to his strict business standards, returns- wise, they were revamped, taken over or amalgamated. He even joined with an old reinstated mate to tour the world selling his business principles at special commercial church sessions at nearly $1000 a head.

 When he realised that this alone was not going to increase their fortunes he went ballistic. Despite wrecking thousands of families for looking at computers or mobile phones in the past, he turned another corner with no apologies. He started selling his own versions to the Brethren for unprecedented fiscal returns. And a thousand other worldly products joined his on-line retail empire. For more unprecedented returns.

 And then his PR guru probably asked… “Er- what do you do for the community?” Of course the answer was nothing! They had not given to charities for more than 50 years on the instructions of an earlier ‘Paul’ – Saint Jim. “But how” implored Bruce, banging his PR guru’s desk “can we do things for the community when we don’t a) like them or b) can’t touch, talk or eat with them? These buggers are unclean mate!”

 “Well” said the PR Guru wincing at the thought of potential contamination of a client –“you could make sandwiches for fire fighters and flood helpers. That way your clean hands have stopped any contact with the application of the Cling Wrap!”

 “Brilliant!” said Bruce! So the Brethren wives took a moment out from tending their exploded families’ needs and started making pies and sandwiches for these people who actually help their communities. And the PR guru started belting out press releases to a bewildered world press saying how good they were. And when nobody took much notice –they even started writing fake testimonials themselves.

 This sadly was not enough. This sort of PR exposure only comes from disasters –which let’s face it are annoyingly spasmodic. How can you get publicity without a disaster pondered a worried Bruce?

 “Well” said the PR guru –“What about making pies and sandwiches and handing them out from your churches?”

 “We can’t!” implored Bruce. “We have erected bloody great fences and electric gates to keep the world OUT mate!”

 “Damn” said the PR guru. “This is going to make it tricky. Call me old fashioned Bruce but churches are supposed to be accessible to all.”

 “Are they?” said Bruce. “But we hate the world. How can you hate the world and open the gates at the same time?”

 “I have the answer” – said the PR man, leading forward in a conspiratorial huddle. “Lock the churches- but open the gates. Give em pies and sandwiches -in the carpark.”

“Brilliant!” said Bruce punching the air in defiance. “But the beggars will be wanting things. What can we give ‘em?” he implored.

 Again the PR man searched his mind for instant answers for the great man. “Mobile phones? Computers? Cookery books? Jeez Bruce- you have got an international on-line store for heaven’s sakes!”

 “Get a grip” said Bruce. “Have you got any idea how much that stuff costs? We’ll give em pies and sandwiches. That way it doesn’t come out of my pocket. The Brethren will make ‘em and that means they pay for ‘em. Oh- and bibles. We got loads of those. ”

 “Brilliant” said the PR man half-heartedly.

Trouble was –the UK Charities Commission took a slightly closer look at the actions of this group of so-called Christians and their charitable endeavours over the past few years and discovered what seemed to be not only a history of potential humanitarian inhumanities – but a distinct lack of giving. To anything. A Sahara Desert of humanitarianism.

 So Bruce dashed off a memo to his Saints in Great Britain. “For Heaven’s sakes- rack your brains for something- ANYTHING! Some of you must have given something- to someone. You will not be dealt with if you have. Come forward! We have to tell these Charities Commission Opposers something!”

 So while that hole is being plugged unsuccessfully another leak happens in the Schools arm of the empire. Having studiously developed up banned books lists and subjects that cannot be taught like ‘where did dinosaurs come from’ and ‘how have the aborigines been here for 40,000 years when you say man is only 6000 years old’ and the biggie ‘Where did we come from’– some little blighter – a Peeb kiddie –registers on Facebook on a Bruce supplied computer. So as a reflex reaction they did what they do to all transgressors and those accused within the sect. They ‘shut’ the poor little blighter ‘up’. Solitary confinement and soul searching in her bedroom with meals pushed under the door for a month. And no contact.

 Trouble was- the teachers found out and the shit hit the fan. Here they were trying to appear all normal –and the World finds out about this little minor practice. So Bruce again showed that he can hold a candle to Solomon in the wisdom department and decrees the whole school be closed down. Problem solved. Sure the kids are bewildered and the teachers confused but the POSITION is maintained!

So now we wait for the burghers of the Charities Commission to make their findings. If their PR campaign and quest works –they get enormous taxation and related benefits from the very world that they detest. The bloody opposers!

But this is what happens when you stop being a church, which is supposedly Christian and start listening to men who call themselves Gods and Prophets and Elect Vessels and who start messing with people’s lives and assets.

 Sooner or later it all comes tumbling down. And you are left with a lot of scared bewildered people and a bloke with a large bag of cash. Sadly this is how it has been for more than 50 years with the Exclusive Plymouth Christian Brethren whatevers. Maybe the Charities Commission will find this out for themselves. Phineas

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